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12 Lives Lost, 14 Injured by Lightning Strikes in Odisha

On Sunday, the Odisha government reported that the death toll resulting from lightning strikes across the state the previous day had reached a tragic total of 12 lives lost. In response, the government swiftly announced an ex gratia compensation of Rs 4 lakh for the families of each deceased individual.

According to the office of the special relief commissioner (SRC), the lightning strikes claimed four lives in Khurda district, two in Bolangir, and one each in Angul, Boudh, Gajapati, Jagatsinghpur, Dhenkanal, and Puri. Additionally, 14 people sustained injuries from lightning strikes, distributed across 11 districts of Odisha.

Among the injured, eight were located in Bolangir district, three in Khurda, and one each in Angul, Cuttack, and Ganjam, as reported by the SRC office. Tragically, eight bovines, six in Gajapati and two in Kandhamal, also fell victim to the lightning strikes.

The entire region, including all 11 districts and the twin cities of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack, experienced heavy rainfall accompanied by lightning strikes. Bhubaneswar recorded 126 mm of rainfall, while Cuttack saw 95.8 mm during a 90-minute spell on Saturday afternoon.

The Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA) reported a staggering 36,597 cloud-to-cloud (CC) lightning and 25,753 cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning strikes in the afternoon.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) had previously forecasted heavy rainfall and lightning strikes in multiple parts of the state over the next four days. This weather pattern was attributed to a cyclonic circulation that had activated the monsoon and resulted in widespread heavy rainfall.

The meteorological department issued advisories for people to seek shelter in safe locations during thunderstorm activity. Furthermore, another cyclonic circulation was expected to form over the north of the Bay of Bengal around September 3, according to H R Biswas, director of the Regional Meteorological Centre.

Under its influence, a low-pressure area was likely to develop within the next 48 hours, leading to intensified southwest monsoon activity and heavy rainfall in Odisha over the next three to four days.

In recognition of the recurring threat, the Odisha government had declared lightning as a state-specific disaster. Official sources noted that in the 2021-22 year, 281 lives were tragically lost due to lightning strikes across 30 districts in the state, underscoring the urgent need for ongoing mitigation efforts and public awareness regarding lightning safety.


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